by Race Director Julian Ng
Planning for the Owai 5 Miler event 2020, like many running events was beset by the challenge of Covid-19 and multiple event cancellations due to the elevated government alert levels limiting public gatherings. As a result, finding a suitable date that didn’t clash with another event was a significant challenge. However, the Owai team were determined to put on the event for Owai members and the Auckland running community, so planning continued despite the uncertainty, and we were rewarded with the event taking place in Alert Level 1 on November 15th.
An historic race and some famous names
This event is an historic race with roots back to the 1960s. The first name on the Bill Baillie Trophy which was up for grabs was Ivan Keats, dated 1962. Ivan started life as a steeplechaser and then turned to the marathon. He ran 2:18 which earned him a run at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Ivan sadly passed away in August this year and got a mention at the Athletics NZ AGM. Since then there have been quite a few great runners. J Walker. B. Baillie of course. A. B. Magee. R. Maddaford. J. Julian. K. Ryan. J. Bowden. A. Audain. D. Warrander. H. Carson. J. Jackson. 2019's winner was Dylan Moxon.
The Pat Munro Cup awarded to the fastest woman on the day is a newer trophy held from 2019 by Bethany Bromfield.
Partnering with the Immune Deficiencies Foundation of New Zealand
In 2020 we also decided to work together with the charity - Immune Deficiencies Foundation of New Zealand - who kindly arranged the volunteer event race marshals from Carmel College, and also organised the sausage sizzle and refreshments for the event participants and whanau. Given the nature of the current global pandemic, partnering with the Immune Deficiencies Foundation of New Zealand (who provide tireless support to hundreds of Kiwis that are immune compromised) seemed incredibly appropriate this year.
On a beautiful warm spring Sunday morning, the highlight of the day was seeing the dozens of Owairaka athletes turning up to participate in this prestigious club event- all proudly donning their club singlets. This included the many juniors across the 5km and 2.5km distances who ran their hearts out and showed the exciting future of the club’s juniors.
Check out all the race photos (thanks to Anastasia & other photographers)
Records get broken
Male winner Cameron Graves created history in smashing the long standing 25 minutes time barrier, finishing in a blistering 24:03. As a result, Cameron collected a $250 cash bonus. Cameron was fresh from winning the Auckland Half Marathon just 2 weeks earlier also in a race record time. Owai runner Bethany Bromfield was once again the women’s champion, backing up from her victory in 2019. Owai champion Nick Moore was the fastest Masters runner, coming in 4th overall in a photo finish with speedster Sam Waldin.
A big thanks to the Owai committee involved in planning and organising the day (Julian- Race Director and his family Cate, Brianna, Alastair; Nick, Jon, Peter, Bazyl - Time-keeper, Julie, Tony, and Kuldeep).
It was the biggest turn out we have had for some time with over 60 runners across the 5 Miler, 5km and 2.5km race events. We look forward to seeing you all again in 2021.